And so the AKB48 24th Single Jankan Tournament is concluded with a historic first. Maeda Atsuko is not in Senbatsu for the first time.

A slight disappointment but given how often a single is released recently, it’s not going to be a long wait till her next appearance in one. So no harm done T-T but still she lost… …

However~  Mariko-sama WON!!!

For the first time Mariko Shinoda, the only 1.5th Generation member in AKB48 will be the center of the senbatsu group. Why 1.5? Because she is the only one in all of AKB48 to join without a proper audition, but her entrance is not an easy one.

She only managed to enter after a populous petition by the customer of the then AKB48 Cafe outside the current theater in Akiba, where she worked in.*

(*Editor note: Alternative story on Wikipedia is that she won a popular vote in the café… But I rather believe what I wanted.)

She managed to fulfill Aki-P’s mission of mastering all of AKB’s dance and song within 4 days and entered AKB48’s team A in January 2006 a month after the first official theater show.

And the rest is history. Even though now, she’s very popular and constantly in the top 10 of the Senbatsu group, she has never been the center. Today Shinoda Mariko, an elder sister like figure to me in AKB48 finally got the chance to be in the center, after defeating Shii-chan, Miichan, and Fujie Reina in the top 8.

I must say, おめでとう! Congratulations! And I look forward to see Mariko-sama more in the future!

Now the top 8 Senbatsu member,

1st – Mariko Shinoda
2nd – Reina Fujie
3rd – Minami Minegishi
4th – Marina Kobayashi
5th – Sayaka Akimoto
6th – Shizuka Oya
7th – Ami Maeda
8th – Sumire Sato

As you can see, Mii-chan got in at 3rd along with Singapore’s Center Ami-Maeda and another one of my favorites Sumire~

The next 8 can be ranked in number due to the nature of the competition.

Ayame Hikawa(NMB48), Ayaka Umeda, Tomomi Kasai, Mizuki Kuwabara(SKE48), Haruna Kojima, Yuki Yamaguchi(NMB48), Suzuran Yamauchi, Rie Kitahara

And together, the 16 ladies will be the senbatsu group for AKB48’s 24th Single, to be released on the 7th of December.

The title of the Single has yet to be announced.

*Kojima Haruna is now the only girl in AKB48 to have participate in all 24 of AKB48’s singles*

About the live screening, the Jankan Tournament lasted for almost 3 hours and 30 minutes and was broadcasted in 99 cinemas in Japan along with cinemas in 4 other countries, namely Taiwan, Hong Kong, Thailand and Singapore.

And I was fortunate enough to watch it live in Cathay’s Cineleisure, with Alafista and Ken0601. The experience is just awesome with a hall full of people cheering, clapping, chanting and luckily no Jeering.

It’s good to know that there are so many people supporting the same girl like I do, for example in the final round, almost everyone in the hall is doing the Mariko call hoping she will win, and she did after 3 draws. A fitting dramatic end that almost lead to me having a need to gasp for air… Another highlight is at Sashihara’s first round against the last Jankan Queen, Uchida Mayumi. It’s very exciting especially with the amount of draws…

In the end Sashi won against the queen but loss to her oshi, Maeda Ami(She went on to proceed into the top 8)…

Well another consolation is that Akimoto Sayaka, Team K’s leader who beat Acchan also went on to be in the top 8.

Not to mention, all of Miichan’s matches are also super interesting~ Against Shimada Haruka, Matsui Jurina, Yamaguchi Suzuran, and Shinoda Mariko.

At the end there is even a preview of the latest PV(Dance ver.) of AKB48’s 23th Single, [Kaze wa Fuiteiru] 「風は吹いている」 and live performances of songs like [Ponytail to Shushu] by Team B, [Heavy Rotation] by Team K, [Everyday Kachusha] by Team A, [Flying Get] by current media senbatsu members. And of course, can how a AKB48 event at a venue like Budokan ends without ALL members performing [Aitakkata] as finale!t~

Overall, the live event is easily the best time I have spent in a cinema period! And it sure help when you have friends around~

Thank you Alafista and Ken0601 for accompanying me, I really enjoyed your company!

Lastly, I sure hope the organizers will consider hosting the Request Hour live screening in Singapore!

Pictures Credit to Natile, they have more pictures to see.
Source: AKB48 Singapore Facebook Page
Shinoda Mariko’s AKB48 History(Ref. Ver.) : Stage48

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